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How do I make a will in Connecticut?

One of the most important functions of Connecticut Probate Court is assisting people in planning and executing wills. Wills contain the wishes of a person for what happens to his or her possessions and assets after death.

Last wills and testaments must meet certain criteria to be an effective piece of estate planning. An attorney can help make sure a will is official in the view of the state of Connecticut.

  • Who can make a will?

Anyone over the age of 18 years without mental defect that would prevent a sound decision at the time of writing the will can make a will.

  • What does a will need to make it official?

A will must be in writing, signed by the person making it and witnessed and signed by two people. Any will that matches these guidelines made in another state or country will also be recognized by the probate court in Connecticut.

  • Can I create a trust in my will?

No, but a will can reference a document recording the creation of a trust. Certain assets or a percentage of an estate's value may be assigned to a trust, which a lawyer may help create or adjust for children and other dependents.

  • What can a will convey to other people or organizations?

A will can give money, property, shares, financial instruments, possessions or "perishable" property such as livestock or pets. If there are mortgages or liens on a property listed in a will, the recipient may need to take on these responsibilities in order to take possession of the property if the will does not handle these issues in its provisions.

Source: Connecticut General Statutes, "Wills: Execution and Construction," accessed Jan. 23, 2018

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